The white paper published by the UK Government on Wednesday is a clever piece of work, at the very least. The skill with which it’s drafted – drawing attention to uncontentious parts, and away from contentious ones – is very considerable. I’ve been thinking about it a good deal over the last couple of days, and will be posting responses on various issues in the course of today and tomorrow. Sorry not to have been able to respond sooner, but I’m keen to make sure I get this right.
I can say one thing with confidence straight away, though; this is NOT delivering the Calman recommendations, let alone ‘devolution max’. It’s arguable whether it’s even much of devolution plus. And because of its flaws as a piece of constitutional engineering, it has to be doubtful whether it will achieve its political purposes as far as Labour are concerned.